Distracted driving is obviously a problem, and lots of software and phone companies have attempted to solve it. Samsung, for example, just released an auto-reply app that’ll send people a response when a phone owner is driving or biking. Now car manufacturers are attempting to fix the issue, too.
Nissan thinks integrating a Faraday cage directly into a car’s armrest could be the magic fix. The compartment, known as the Nissan Signal Shield, would block all cellular, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connections. You could still play music through a USB or auxiliary cord, though, although I presume your music would have to be locally saved. Just opening the armrest would restore connectivity. Right now, this is just a concept idea for the new Nissan Juke model.
I do think car companies could play a vital role in deterring distracted driving. Heads-up displays, for example, are incredibly helpful in encouraging drivers to stop looking at their phones. That said, I can’t imagine a ton of drivers willfully turning off their phones. Maybe parents would buy this armrest for their kids and force them to use it. But given that we’re phone addicts, why would we ever want to shut our devices out from the world? That’s just stress-inducing.